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Ask Slashdot: Geekiest Way To Cook a Turkey? 447

First time accepted submitter almostadnsguy writes "There seem to be a lot of ways to cook a turkey the geekiest ones are probably out of the realm of possibility for normal geeks. However, Within the limits of normal society (or outside if you wish) what is the geekiest way to do it? Do you use a special brine, cook it in an inventive way, or raise genetically modified turkeys with extra legs?"
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Ask Slashdot: Geekiest Way To Cook a Turkey?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @09:03PM (#42062219)

    Dunno what options their are down there, but here in Canada lots of places where you can get a free range turkey.

    Funny story: first year I did this I placed my order for 2 turkeys (one for thanksgiving and one for Christmas). Picked up the one for thanksgiving and was great, just the right size. Picked up the one for Christmas and it was huge! Like a complete idiot I asked why this one was so much bigger than the first one, to which the farmer replied of course that "it grew..". Kinda funny what a life time of buying stuff from grocery stores does to your brain.

  • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @09:13PM (#42062325)

    I can't vouch for the edibility of the finished product, but....

    Take 1 frozen turkey, and remove plastic wrapping.

    Place on a ceramic or glass pedistal.

    Plug in your 5000v induction heater [] charge controller.

    Wrap a coil of 10 gauge or thicker copper wire around a large stockpot to a height suitable for the intended purpose. Remove from stockpot, and attach coil to the charge controller.

    Carefully lower the coil over and around the frozen turkey, taking care to assure that the coil does not short, and does not touch the turkey.

    Turn the charge controller on, and observe carefully. A mysterious orange glow eminating from the frozen turkey is normal. It may be necessary to throttle back the voltage of the induction coil to avoid incineration of the turkey. Using a frozen turkey improves chances of first time success.

    Keep children, pets, and the elderly away from the induction heater at all times, and always wear appropriate protective clothing and safety goggles.

  • by poity ( 465672 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @09:35PM (#42062499)

    Because I imagine "geeky" can mean much more than that. A history buff who researches the traditional cooking methods and ingredients used by the pilgrims, and then sets out to replicate it with a wild turkey that he shoots and cleans would be doing it in a geeky way. A gardening buff who dries his own herbs and spices, and makes his stuffing from scratch with the leftover rosemary bread he baked last week would be doing it in a geeky way. And, of course, the science buff who levitates his turkey with magnets and blasts it with a high powered directed energy canon (dialed down for juiciness) would also be doing it in a geeky way.

    Honestly though I'd rather prefer the garden geek's turkey, though it may be too late to plant your herbs now.

  • OT (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Alien Being ( 18488 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @09:49PM (#42062637)

    Now you may all ask yourself what any of this has to do with turkey, and you'd be right for asking. I wish there was a simple answer but, friends, it ain't simple. It's Thanksgiving.

    Alice's Restaurant
    By Arlo Guthrie

    This song is called Alice's Restaurant, and it's about Alice, and the
    restaurant, but Alice's Restaurant is not the name of the restaurant,
    that's just the name of the song, and that's why I called the song Alice's

    You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant
    You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant
    Walk right in it's around the back
    Just a half a mile from the railroad track
    You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant

    Now it all started two Thanksgivings ago, was on - two years ago on
    Thanksgiving, when my friend and I went up to visit Alice at the
    restaurant, but Alice doesn't live in the restaurant, she lives in the
    church nearby the restaurant, in the bell-tower, with her husband Ray and
    Fasha the dog. And livin' in the bell tower like that, they got a lot of
    room downstairs where the pews used to be in. Havin' all that room,
    seein' as how they took out all the pews, they decided that they didn't
    have to take out their garbage for a long time.

    We got up there, we found all the garbage in there, and we decided it'd be
    a friendly gesture for us to take the garbage down to the city dump. So
    we took the half a ton of garbage, put it in the back of a red VW
    microbus, took shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and headed
    on toward the city dump.

    Well we got there and there was a big sign and a chain across across the
    dump saying, "Closed on Thanksgiving." And we had never heard of a dump
    closed on Thanksgiving before, and with tears in our eyes we drove off
    into the sunset looking for another place to put the garbage.

    We didn't find one. Until we came to a side road, and off the side of the
    side road there was a fifteen foot cliff and at the bottom of the
    cliff there was another pile of garbage. And we decided that one big pile
    is better than two little piles, and rather than bring that one up we
    decided to throw ours down.

    That's what we did, and drove back to the church, had a thanksgiving
    dinner that couldn't be beat, went to sleep and didn't get up until the
    next morning, when we got a phone call from officer Obie. He said, "Kid,
    we found your name on an envelope at the bottom of a half a ton of
    garbage, and just wanted to know if you had any information about it." And
    I said, "Yes, sir, Officer Obie, I cannot tell a lie, I put that envelope
    under that garbage."

    After speaking to Obie for about forty-five minutes on the telephone we
    finally arrived at the truth of the matter and said that we had to go down
    and pick up the garbage, and also had to go down and speak to him at the
    police officer's station. So we got in the red VW microbus with the
    shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and headed on toward the
    police officer's station.

    Now friends, there was only one or two things that Obie coulda done at
    the police station, and the first was he could have given us a medal for
    being so brave and honest on the telephone, which wasn't very likely, and
    we didn't expect it, and the other thing was he could have bawled us out
    and told us never to be see driving garbage around the vicinity again,
    which is what we expected, but when we got to the police officer's station
    there was a third possibility that we hadn't even counted upon, and we was
    both immediately arrested. Handcuffed. And I said "Obie, I don't think I
    can pick up the garbage with these handcuffs on." He said, "Shut up, kid.
    Get in the back of the patrol car."

    And that's what we did, sat in the back of the patrol car and drove to the
    quote Scene of the Crime unquote. I want tell you about the town of
    Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where this happened here, they got three stop

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @09:56PM (#42062703)

    As bored biomed-technicians in a USAF hospital, we found that on Thanksgiving, we had only frozen turkeys, as no-one had seen the need to thaw them (sigh).

    Well, realizing we could reprogram a Steris steam-sterilizer to reach 300 degrees Farenheit, we cooked the turkeys in a sterilizer.

    The most juicy, moist (soggy) turkey you will have ever tasted, and it takes about 90 minutes to cook *FROM FROZEN*

  • by grnbrg ( 140964 ) <> on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @09:59PM (#42062727)

    The first method came about from reading that one of the reasons that it is recommended that stuffing not be cooked in the turkey is that if the stuffing is cooked to a safe temperature, the meat is badly overcooked. My solution to this? Cook the turkey (following the usual oven method) with a heat exchanger to help cook the stuffing from the inside. 8 inches of 1" copper pipe, capped at both ends and 10 feet or so of 1/4" copper tubing tightly coiled into a 2-3" coil, and soldered into holes in one of the caps on the larger pipe, and the whole thing filled with water.

    The large pipe was inside the turkey, the coil outside and exposed to the ambient oven temperature. The idea was that the oven would heat the water in the coil, and convection would circulate it into the turkey, cooking the stuffing from the inside. It seemed to actually work, too. The downside is the risk that one of the solder joints would fail after the water had heated up to ~300+ F. While that didn't happen the one time I tried it, the risk lead to the device forever after being referred to as "The Turkey Rocket". PS: Don't try this for your first dinner where you're inviting your parents and your girlfriends parents over. You might not survive. :)

    Method #2 is a more recent method -- Sous vide cooking. You can't do a whole turkey, and skin of any kind is a bit of a lost cause, but skinless turkey breasts or drumsticks cooked at ~140F for 10 to 12 hours are amazing. More moist and tender than brined, and no risk of being too salty. And with wires everywhere, and an electronically controlled thermometer and heater, cooking doesn't get any geekier.


    PS: If you're oven cooking, look up brining. It's easy, and makes a huge difference.

  • Re:why (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Samantha Wright ( 1324923 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @10:03PM (#42062769) Homepage Journal
    There's insecurity at work; perhaps even a hint of madness. Subtle, perhaps, but it's there. A cloying need to identify with a label, regardless of its meaning. Simply replace "geekiest" with another cultural label, and you'll see how unnatural it is. What's the most Christian way to prepare a turkey? Or the most furry? Perhaps the most patriotic? It is a desire to celebrate a simple observation about oneself and inflate it to cartoonish proportions, as if by doing so it is possible to purify out contrary personality traits.

    Slowly but tirelessly, the fashion industry struggles to manipulate perhaps the last stronghold of purely rational, socially unaware people: the technically-minded. By trying to play on the reader's insecurity, they hope to drum up a desire to make the reader purchase relevant goods. This is the true cost of the passing of Slashdot to a larger commercial entity.
  • by EdwinFreed ( 1084059 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @10:51PM (#42063119)
    Someone else mentioned sous vide cooking - there are a bunch of sous vide turkey recipes. Another is smoking. I sometimes serve a smoked turkey with a pecan sauce. Very nice combination. If I'm going all out there are pastry-enclosed cinnamon apples with a dab of whipped cream infused with Earl Gray tea for dessert.

    But the geekiest turkey I ever made was from a recipe I saw on TV (which I just looked for but cannot find). The stuffing had over 10 ingredients, which of course took a long time to do. Once the bird is stuffed, you make up a paste of turmeric and some other stuff and slather it all over. Put it in the oven at 500 degrees, wait for the paste to dry, then apply more paste. Keep doing this until the bird is completely enclosed in a thick hard layer. Then let it cook until it's completely black. You then crack it open and serve. The result was excellent, but was way too much trouble to do again.
  • by okmijnuhb ( 575581 ) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @12:15AM (#42063579)
    Get a Weber Smokey Mountain BBQ Smoker or equivalent to smoke the turkey. That's not the geeky part.
    Add an ATC (automatic temperature control). This will allow you to set it for precise, unattended low and slow cooking.
    Better still, get one with wifi and an internet server like the Stoker Power Draft from (no affiliation, but I do own one).
    You can check and adjust your meat and fire temperatures from inside your home on wifi or remotely via the internet on your smartphone or computer.
    It can even email you, or serve twitter updates. Run it with, and give your buddies a simple URL to monitor your cook as well.
    Then install Stokerlog to your system, so that you can graph meat and fire temperatures and share temperature graphs with your geeky buddies on the bbq forums.
    Use a digital camera and take pictures of the smoke ring (smoke penetration) on a slice of meat. Share it on your favorite photo sharing site.
    Lastly, get farkles like an instant read thermometer, (I like the Thermapen), and measure the precise temperature of the meat everywhere on the bird.
    The satisfaction, apart from the eating, is taking a stone age process; barbeque; and bringing it into the internet age.
    I don't know if you could get geekier than that...

"If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong." -- Norm Schryer